Two women who lost loved ones to gun violence in Washington, D.C., are working together to help the growing number of people, including children, who’ve also suffered the loss of family members or friends.
Ryane Nickens has lost more than a dozen family members and friends to gun violence in the past 25 years. In 2017, she founded the TraRon Center, named for her sister Tracy and her brother Ronnie, who were murdered in separate incidents in the 1990s.
Starting in Ward 8, in church basements and other donated spaces, Nickens – a lifelong resident of the District R…
Exactly one month ago, a father and husband from Takoma Park was shot and killed in the District, hit by a stray bullet shortly after he and his wife left a restaurant on 14th Street Northwest near Logan Circle. D.C. Police are still searching for the person or persons responsible for the death of 53-year-old Jeremy Black.
Meanwhile, his grieving family has partnered with a D.C. nonprofit that works to help communities that are hardest hit by gun violence.
People Magazine Article: After Losing 3 Family Members to Gunfire, Activist Ryane Nickens Helps Survivors Overcome Trauma
“My life is an example of how you can turn pain into purpose,” says Ryane Nickens, the founder of Washington, D.C.’s TraRon Center.
Ryane Nickens was 12 when she lost her first relative to gun violence. The victim in that 1989 shooting was her 20-year-old uncle, David Williams. Then, in 1993, a shooting in Nickens’ Southeast Washington, D.C., neighborhood killed her pregnant sister Tracy, 18, and injured her mother, Linda Bunn, as well as Ryane’s sister Dee Dee and her brother Ronnie.
Cathy Feingold doesn’t know who the women were or what lives they had led.
All she knows is that they appeared during one of her darkest moments and knew exactly what to do as her husband lay on a busy Northwest D.C. sidewalk, dying from a gunshot wound.
That night in June, as Feingold tells it, she and her husband, Jeremy Black, a Peace Corps worker who had dedicated his life to helping others, had been on a date. They had enjoyed dinner with two friends at a 14th Street restaurant and, because the weather was welcoming, decided to take a walk. The four made it only a few…
Jeff and Barbara Black remember their son Jeremy as a bold and courageous man who devoted his life to empowering others, raised a loving family and embedded himself in communities around the world.
Jeremy was killed by a stray bullet in Washington D.C. on June 29 while he, his wife and their friends were walking home from a restaurant. He was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between two groups of people. He was 53 years old and had a wife, Cathy Feingold, and two children.